- Microsoft is buying "Call of Duty" publisher Activision.
- Microsoft is paying nearly $70 billion in cash for the game company.
- Activision owns Blizzard and King, and Microsoft will acquire those companies as well in the deal.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Microsoft is buying Activision, the major video game publisher behind the "Call of Duty" franchise, in a deal valued at nearly $70 billion.
It's the largest video game acquisition in history, and Microsoft's largest acquisition as a company.
The price values Activision's stock at $95.00 per share — a price it hasn't held since July 2021, when news first broke that the state of California was suing the publisher over allegations of widespread harassment that proliferated due to the company's "frat boy" culture.
In the deal, Microsoft will become the third-largest video game company, following Chinese giant Tencent and PlayStation-maker Song.
Microsoft will acquire a huge selection of intellectual property and game development resources: Game franchises like "Call of Duty," "World of Warcraft," and "Candy Crush," in addition to major game studios like Blizzard Entertainment and Treyarch.
Beyond IP and development resources, Microsoft said Activision's games will appear on the company's Netflix-like video game subscription service, Game Pass, in the coming months. That service, which has been critical to Xbox's success in recent years, has now reached 25 million subscribers, Microsoft said.
Microsoft is also inheriting Activision's recently reported culture issues, including claims that CEO Bobby Kotick knew for years about a variety of claims of sexual harassment and rape at his company, and did little to fix the problems.
Kotick will continue on with the company, Microsoft said in its press release announcement, and will report to Xbox leader Phil Spencer when the deal closes.
"Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in the release, "and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms."
The deal, if approved, is expected to close within the next year.